The eagerly anticipated Hollywood romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, based on Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel of the same name, will screen in August this year. New to the novel? It is set in Singapore and interweaves a love story with the ludicrous hijinks of those “who make the Fortune 500 list look poor.”
The author Kwan, rumoured to be of “crazy rich” ilk himself, was born in the Lion City and remained here till age 11, when his family relocated to the US.
Do the über-rich actually live in Singapore? Most certainly.
There are currently more than 1,400 individuals with a net worth of over US$50 million who call Singapore home. According to Knight Frank’s 2018 City Wealth Index, Singapore is now the fifth wealthiest city in the world, and the wealthiest city in Asia.
If you are planning your Singapore holidays and fancy a whiff of the finer life, throw financial caution to the wind and follow our guide to living large, Singapore style.
1. Wine and Dine Decadently
Think nothing of racking up a US$2 million bill for a dinner date that includes a helicopter ride over Singapore, a chauffeured Rolls-Royce, a luxury cruise, and the crowning glory of a 2.08-carat diamond ring? Read this article to find out more about this mind-boggling itinerary.
To fulfil your epicurean desires on a more modest scale, a Michelin-starred restaurant is a good place to begin. Odette (modern French, two Michelin stars) at the National Gallery is known for being impossible to score a table at—but as the author Jeanette Winterson would say, “Only the impossible is worth the effort.”
Other deserving contenders for your dollar are the ever popular Les Amis (French fine dining, two Michelin stars) with one of the most extensive wine lists in Asia. Or consider the carte blanche menu specially created and curated by Chef Luke Armstrong at Bacchanalia, a one Michelin star establishment with an open-concept kitchen.
For a view worthy of high society, head to Stellar at 1-Altitude (Australian).
2. Travel in Luxury
Fancy being behind the wheel of a S$3.6 million Maserati or a $5 million Porsche for a week, as you discover the best things about Singapore? Luxury car rental company Ace Drive has about 100 big-league cars in its fleet, including the aforementioned models. (Find out more about renting cars while in Singapore.)
You can also embrace the celebrity lifestyle by hiring a Rolls Royce, Bentley, or Chrysler limousine from Limousines.sg, complete with the solicitous service of a personal chauffeur—be sure to ask him or her to take the scenic route so you can admire iconic Singapore attractions while in blissful reverie. For an international limousine service that allows you to check rates and book your rides online, visit Blacklane.
To literally feel on top of the world, charter a helicopter flight with Singapore Heli-Services, which offers a 45-minute sightseeing tour that will give you a riveting view of this industrious city, from its skyscraper-lined commercial districts to its immaculate green sanctuaries.
Then there is that ultimate symbol of wealth and status, favoured by billionaires the world over—the yacht. A sure sign of rising incomes in Singapore, yacht outings have gained popularity in recent years, and you can easily rent a top-of-the-line yacht to explore the city’s Southern Islands for a day of snorkelling, paddle-boarding, or simply luxuriating on the beach or onboard the vessel of your choice.
3. Style Meets Money
What can S$2,738 buy you in Singapore? A haircut with celebrity hairstylist Kim Robinson, who runs his eponymous salon in the city centre—you would be sharing the honour with luminaries such as the late Princess Diana, Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, and British singer Rita Ora. Despite the hefty fee, do not expect Robinson to be at your beck and call; appointments with him need to be scheduled at least a month in advance, so he can book a flight to Singapore to see to your tresses.
If you consider yourself on par with the likes of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton or Hollywood heavyweights Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence, visit Italian celebrity stylist Rossano Ferretti’s Singapore salon, where a cleanse and cut will set you back between S$375 and S$510. For haircuts that fall just shy of S$500, take your cue from local entertainment personalities and transform your look with David Gan (Passion Hair Salon) or Addy Lee (Monsoon Hair House Novena Square).
For a sharp suit that is custom-fitted to perfection, head to The Prestigious, touted by TimeOut Singapore as “a well-known bespoke tailor often consulted by the well-heeled and well-dressed community.” (More tailoring recommendations for men and women on Expat Living Singapore.)
To shop luxury brands, head to megamall ION Orchard, which has been voted “Best Luxury Shopping Centre” by locals in previous years. Adding a personal touch to your luxury buys is now possible—Gucci’s ION store has a DIY section where you can personalise the brand’s Dionysus bags with design patches, trims, and monograms. At the same store, customers can also adorn their Gucci Ace sneakers with initials. Over at Bottega Veneta’s ION store, bag shoppers can choose from a range of leather skins, and add their initials as well. At Burberry (also at ION), scarf buyers can customise their purchases with up to three initials at no additional charge.
4. Rest and Recharge at Pan Pacific Singapore’s Presidential Suite
After a hedonistic day of extravagant sightseeing and shopping, retreat to our stately Presidential Suite—the epitome of refinement. A stunning view of the city skyline awaits as you enter your suite. Featuring a spacious bedroom and two luxurious ensuite bathrooms, our suite also includes separate living and entertainment areas.
With a marble bathroom and a whirlpool bathtub, you can immerse yourself in palatial comfort. To ensure a perfect night’s rest, choose from 3 different pillows: buckwheat hull organic, foam, contour, or coil polyester.
As a Presidential Suite guest, you are invited to indulge in full Pacific Club privileges, which include complimentary champagne breakfast, all-day refreshments, and exclusive access to the Pacific Club Lounge.